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What To Watch For: NC State

Sept. 22, 2016

By Joanne Norell

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team looks for its first win in Atlantic Coast Conference play Thursday as the Irish visit NC State to wrap up a four-game road stint.

WHAT: Match 10
WHO: No. 24 Notre Dame (5-1-3) vs. NC State (7-2-0)
WHERE: Dail Soccer Field | Raleigh, N.C.
WHEN: 7 p.m. (ET) – Sept. 22, 2016
STATS: Live Stats

Scouting NC State

The Wolfpack enter Thursday’s matchup witha 7-2-0 record and are in the midst of a six-game winning streak, including a 1-0 victory over then-No. 7 North Carolina on Friday in Chapel Hill. NC State’s two losses have come against San Diego (August 21) and South Carolina (August 25).

The Wolfpack is led by Jackie Stengel, who has 11 points (five goals, one assist) and Michaella van Maanan, who has 10 points (four goals, two assists) on the year. Tziarra King also has four goals and nine total points for NC State. Goalkeeper Sydney Wootten has started all nine games for NC State this season and has recorded a 0.81 goals against average to go along with 30 saves and a 0.811 saves percentage.

The Last Time They Met

Notre Dame and NC State last met in 2013 in Notre Dame’s first season in the ACC, with the Irish picking up a 3-1 victory in Raleigh to improve its all-time record against the Wolfpack to 2-1. The win also marked the first win for a Notre Dame athletics program in ACC play. The Wolfpack struck first with a goal in the sixth minute, but Notre Dame got goals from Crystal Thomas, Karin Simonian and Sammy Scofield as the Irish led 22-8 in shots, 12-4 in shots on goal and 9-3 in corner kicks.

Last Time Out

The Irish are unbeaten in their last six matches, but have tied in their previous three, including a 1-1 draw in double overtime at Syracuse to open ACC play on Sunday.

Syracuse opened the scoring in the 33rd minute as Eva Gordon connected on a rebounding shot during an Orange corner kick attempt. The home team held the 1-0 advantage at halftime.

The Irish got their chance in the 53rd minute on a corner kick try of their own. Junior defender Monica Flores lifted a perfect service toward the back post and junior midfielder Taylor Klawunder flicked it into the opposite corner on a header to even the score. Despite Notre Dame’s 16-14 edge in shots and 11-4 advantage in corner kicks, the Irish weren’t able to find another goal and for the first time in program history, they recorded their third consecutive draw.

Stacking Up

At No. 24, the Irish are one of seven Atlantic Coast Conference teams to appear in this week’s NSCAA Division I Women’s Soccer poll, along with No. 2 Virginia, No. 2 Florida State, No. 7 Duke, No. 13 Clemson, No. 18 North Carolina and No. 19 Virginia Tech. All of those teams earned seeds in the 2015 NCAA Championship, while Boston College (receiving votes) also earned a bid to round out ACC representation.

Individually, freshman forward Jennifer Westendorf ranks among the top four in the ACC in shots (fourth, 40 shots) and shots per game (third, 4.44/gm). Senior goalkeeper Kaela Little comes in at second in the conference in saves (41), saves per game (4.56), save percentage (0.891), and sixth in goals against average (0.53). Little is tied for second in shutouts with five and ranks third in shutouts per game (0.56).

— ND —

Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, and earned her master’s degree in sports industry management from Georgetown University in 2013.